Using electronic tags to track livestock is widespread in Europe. Proponents say it helps prevent and contain food-borne illnesses, but the idea is finding a mixed and often chilly reception in the United States.
Radio frequency identification, or RFID tags, can be put on an animal’s ear similar to the metal id clips currently used to identify animals and track them for inventory and health purposes.
But the RFID chips send out a signal, which is captured by a reader that uploads information into a database. They are in common use in industries ranging from logistics to amusement parks.